Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) and Disney Conservation Fund have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration for more than a decade. With Disney’s generous support, our conservationists have achieved some truly remarkable things.
Lion Watch safari guides trained by Ewaso Lions to be experts on lion ecology and identification: 18
Miles of cotton-top tamarin habitat surveyed by Proyecto Tití’s field team: 292
Hours Andean Cat Alliance spent on five different expeditions around Argentina searching for Andean cats and placing camera traps in the field, in 2015: over 12,000
Livestock guard dogs vaccinated and sterilized through Cheetah Conservation Botswana’s livestock guardian program: 132
Number of hunting snares Painted Dog Conservation cleared in 2015: 1,547
Tree seedlings distributed to farmers in the Congo by Okapi Conservation Project: 24,326
Our conservation teams have also had incredible success reaching kids. Both WCN and Disney know that kids are the future protectors of wildlife and preservers of wild lands, so we thought we’d share one small, but impactful, story from Proyecto Tití about their effect on two local teens.
Jose and David were teenagers who developed a bad habit. Often, after school, the two boys would head into the nearby forest to capture wild animals that they would then sell as part of the illegal pet trade. They were unaware that their actions were contributing to an industry that is a huge threat to the survival of many species, including the endangered cotton-top tamarin. During one of these after-school trips, one of Proyecto Tití’s field teams were out surveying the forest for evidence of cotton-top tamarins and stumbled upon Jose and David shaking a tree, trying to dislodge two tamarins that were huddled together high up in the branches. While Jose shook, David waited underneath to catch the frightened little monkeys.
The field team was quick to intervene, seizing on the opportunity for a teachable moment. Jose and David listened as the team shared with them the importance and uniqueness of Colombia’s little monkey species, and how the same pet trade they were helping to supply had led to the tamarins becoming endangered. Both teenagers were quick to appreciate the negative consequences of their actions, and immediately released the two tamarins back into the wild. This impromptu educational intervention turned two accidental poachers into enthusiastic tamarin conservationists.
This is just a small example of the vital work conservationists do in educating local communities, and what an impact they can have on individual animals, and species as a whole. If that wasn’t convincing enough, here are some numbers!
Number of people participating in saiga themed games and competitions as part of Saiga Conservation Alliance’s Uzbekistan Saiga Day: 4000
Local people who learned about the importance of tiger conservation from the Tigris Foundation during Tiger Day in Vladivostok, Russia: 10,000+
Adults and children in Andhra Pradesh, India trained by Fishing Cat Conservancy to track fishing cats, document their behavior, and set up camera traps: 10+
Bhutanese citizens and tourists across three villages who participated in Snow Leopard Conservancy’s Jomolhari Mountain Festival:140